Equestrian Team

Mar 12, 2024

Natasha Eidson

The Success Story of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Equestrian Team

The OPSU Equestrian Team has made waves in the collegiate equestrian world. Under the guidance of Coach Kacey Ward, the team has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from a modest group of riders to a formidable force in just two short years.


Coach Kacey Ward inherited a team with only one returning member in 2022. However, her dedication and expertise cultivated an environment that attracted new talent and nurtured existing riders. The team has flourished, growing from an average of four students to an impressive cohort of fifteen dedicated riders.


Tracy Kincannon, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Science, and Nursing, stated, “Kacey’s dedication and passion to the Equestrian Team shows throughout all she does, tirelessly devoting herself to the team’s success. Her commitment shines through in the countless hours she invests, ensuring the program grows. Kacey has undeniably earned her place as a leader in not only collegiate equestrian but also under the College of Agriculture, Science, and Nursing, setting a standard of excellence that inspires all who have the privilege of working with her.”


Despite numerous challenges, the team has consistently demonstrated its prowess in competitions. They showcased their skills throughout the season at seven shows, consistently placing above 5th overall. Notably, they clinched the 3rd position as a team on three occasions, a testament to their hard work and determination.


As the team reflects on their achievements, they bid farewell to their first graduating seniors in 2024: Matt Tullock, Brett Coffman, and Jayelynn Powell. Powell made history as the team’s inaugural qualifier for the regional championship under Coach Ward’s guidance, securing an impressive 3rd overall position in ranch riding.


“Mrs. Ward has made a tremendous impact as our Equestrian Team Coach. Her commitment and dedication have translated into growth and success for our athletes and the program,” commented Dr. Julie Dinger, University President. “She is committed to our students’ growth and success. Kacey’s leadership has elevated our Equestrian program to new heights, and I am so proud of her.”


Looking towards the future, the OPSU Equestrian Team remains poised for continued success. With three team members on the brink of qualifying for the 2025 regional championship, they are poised to build upon their achievements and set new milestones. Both academically and athletically, they remain steadfast in their pursuit of excellence, maintaining an impressive average GPA of 3.0.


Beyond the arena, the OPSU Equestrian Team exemplifies the spirit of camaraderie and dedication. As they aim towards new horizons, the Team continues to grow and be a shining example of passion, determination, and triumph in collegiate equestrian sports.

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